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Art of the Yinjibarndi

Patricia Floyd has been Manager of Yinjaa-Barni Art since its inception in 2006. She worked with the Bujee Nhoorr Pu mob before taking up a TAFE teaching role with Yinjaa-Barni people in Roebourne. At Patricia’s suggestion the group took up painting in 2005. In this interview Patricia talks about the early days of the group…

Marlene Harold

Yinjaa-Barni Show A Softer Side of The Pilbara

We’re just hanging a beautiful new exhibition from the Yinjaa-Barni artists. These fine painters operate out of Roebourne in the Pilbara and the group exhibit here at Japingka about every eighteen months or so. The Yinjaa-Barni artists have their own Art Centre right in the town of Roebourne. The artists are all people who live…

Women's Ceremony - Narpulla - Jap 011381

New Affordable Aboriginal Paintings – Recently Arrived

Women’s Ceremony – Narpulla – Jap 011381 January 20, 2015 by David Wroth Pintupi artists Monica Napaltjarri and Narpulla Scobie have painted some beautiful small works which have just recently arrived at the gallery. Monica Napaltjarri uses traditional iconography of the Western Desert and her work features a restrained palette based around earth colours. Her…

Lorna Napurrula Fencer

How Aboriginal Colours and Group Art Styles Develop

Do you sometimes recognise a painting style or colour palette and think of a particular Aboriginal community? In this article David Wroth talks about how Aboriginal communities developed their own visual language and colour palette through group interaction. The decisions of each group influenced the development of the style of painting that may be identified…

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Marcia Purdie & The Storytellers of Warmun

In this interview Marcia Purdie talks about her love and respect for the elders of Warmun. She discusses the influence of her mother-in-law, artist Shirley Purdie, and her memories of Queenie McKenzie. Q. You spent some time with the old people from Warmun, can you tell me a little about what that was like and how…

Sunset Rain - Rosella Namok

Rosella Namok’s New Paintings of the Queensland Coast

Sunset Rain – Rosella Namok – Jap 011311 December 10, 2014 by Jamie Plunkett The weather is breaking along the north Queensland coast and the Wet season is on its way. Rosella Namok has captured some of the rainy season in Cairns in a new series of paintings that have just arrived at Japingka Gallery.…

Seven Sisters Dreaming

Warlpiri Star Gazers Dazzle at Japingka

Alma Granites Seven Sisters Dreaming November 19, 2014 by David Wroth It would be fair to say that we’re all a little starstruck right now at Japingka as we’re hanging the paintings for our Warlpiri Star Gazers exhibition. It’s not surprising that the contemporary Aboriginal art movement bought us a number of artists who passionately follow…

Linda Syddick Napaltjarri - Japingka Gallery

The Remarkable Life of Linda Syddick Napaltjarri

We have an exhibition of works by Linda Syddick Napaltjarri coming up so I thought it might be interesting to talk a little about her life. Linda was born in 1937. She is a Pintupi woman from Lake MacKay in the Gibson Desert in Western Australia. Linda’s Aboriginal name is Tjunkiya Wukula Napaltjarri. She lived a traditional…

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How To Use Aboriginal Art In A Workplace Culture

We are fascinated to learn about how aboriginal art resonates with scientific thinkers. For several years biochemist Professor Nadia Rosenthal has been collecting aboriginal art and hanging it in her workplace, the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University. Recently we got to sit down with her and ask about how these paintings contribute to the development…

Nadia article - square Spini

Indigenous and Endogenous – Cell Biologists and Aboriginal Art?

In 2015 Professor Nadia Rosenthal was Founding Director of the newly formed Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University. She talks here about what she and other cell biologists see when they look at aboriginal art. She reflects on the connection between the images of cells as seen through a powerful microscope, and the motifs…

Nadia article Aileen

Aboriginal Art and a Workplace Culture of Creativity

How does art transform a workplace? Professor Nadia Rosenthal was awarded a PhD in 1981 from Harvard Medical School and after a postdoctoral fellowship went on to direct a biomedical research laboratory at the Cardiovascular Research Center at Harvard Medical School. She is a Cell Biologist, and Founding Director of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute…

Nadia article SK1

Layers of Meaning in Aboriginal Art

Professor Nadia Rosenthal is Founding Director of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University. She takes great pleasure in sharing her collection of aboriginal art with her work colleagues at the Institute – in this interview she tells a personal story that illustrates the layers of meaning in aboriginal art. The first time I…

Roy Underwood in London

Spinifex Artists are a Special Group of Desert Painters

The Spinifex artists have returned for their latest exhibition at Japingka Gallery, where they first began exhibiting in 2002.  From their homelands in the Great Victoria Desert, the Spinifex people were displaced at the time of the Maralinga nuclear tests during the 1950s and 1960s. Returning to their traditional country had been a cherished goal…

Iwantja Artists Exhibition

Iwantja Artists Exhibition – Successful Conclusion

Congratulations to Iwantja artists for their high quality exhibition presented during September. Paintings have found new homes in USA, Malaysia, Canada and Israel, as well as cities across Australia. Iwantja is at a relatively early stage of setting up its artists’ reputations, so this response is very gratifying. With twelve artists exhibiting from this small…

Ted Snell Emergence -MCampbell

Ted Snell On The Emergence of Contemporary Aboriginal Art

Professor Ted Snell is Director of the Cultural Precinct at the University of Western Australia. Over the past two decades he has contributed to the national arts agenda through his role as Chair of the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools, Chair of Artbank, Chair of the Asialink Visual Arts Advisory Committee and…


Collector Stories – Julie Fowell & Tony Brenton

In this discussion, art collectors Julie Fowell and Tony Brenton talk with Jody Fitzhardinge from Japingka Gallery. Q: When did you first get interested in art? Julie: I was teaching in UWA and I met a student who was the daughter of local art dealers. They were also collectors and gallery owners. Her experience growing…

The Wangkatjungka Art Story

The Wangkatjungka Art Story

The Emergence of Aboriginal Art In this article Ian Plunkett talks about the role played by a school teacher and his wife and Japingka’s David Wroth to bring together different generations to produce a major exhibition of work from the Spinifex Group. Wangkatjungka Kids Mentors Opening Night The Influence of Teachers There has been several major…

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri

Buying Aboriginal Art: From First Time Buyers to Collectors

Who’s buying aboriginal art right now? It’s changed a lot over the years. My first experience with selling aboriginal art was actually in Europe when we had a gallery in Covent Garden in London. Selling there was a completely different experience because virtually no one there knew anything much about aboriginal art at all.


Jimmy Pike and the Birth of Desert Designs

  Meeting Jimmy Pike Q: So was this when you met Jimmy Pike? David: Yes. Probably 1982, I think I met Jimmy Pike. He struck me as significant because his strong connection to aboriginal culture was such a resource for him. Jimmy Pike seemed to disappear back into the culture he carried with him. He emerged very quickly…

Feature Emergence Contemp Abor Art

The Emergence of Contemporary Aboriginal Art

Overview This article series looks at the emergence of the contemporary aboriginal art movmement. Papunya and Geoffrey Bardon The Influence of Geoffrey Bardon Fremantle, Jimmy Pike and Desert Designs Jimmy Pike and Desert Designs Internationalisation The Internationalisation of Aboriginal Art Teachers and Wangkatjungka Art The Influence of Teachers and the Wangkatjungka Art Story

Feature Perspectives on Abor Art

Perspectives on Aboriginal Art – David Wroth, Japingka Gallery

The Early Influence Q: David can you identify a moment or a day in your life when your interest in aboriginal art began? David: I think there were a couple of stages. When I was a high school student, we went on an expedition. We located aboriginal sites, historical ones that had fantastic rock paintings…

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Spirituality and the History of Aboriginal Art

Shifts in Values in Aboriginal Art The spiritual appeal in Aboriginal art seems to be a source of considerable reinvention. Sometimes when that cycle starts it draws in new players all the time. There seems to be certain times in large movements where there’s a shift and that triggers a whole series of human reactions…

Feature Everyday Spirituality Spinifex

Everyday Spirituality: Paintings from The Spinifex Arts Project

Amanda Dent, Project Manager for the Spinifex Arts Project, discusses new works being exhibited at Japingka Gallery in October 2014. Q: Can you tell us what excites you about this current exhibition? The works that Spinifex artists do are amazing, because they have such integrity, and there’s such an intuitive flow to the work. The…

Myrtle Estelle Jap 011058

Working With The Spinifex Arts Project

Amanda Dent and her partner Brian Hallett are the Spinifex Arts Project Managers. They moved to the remote area Wingellina (or Irrunytju) in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands in 1999. In 2000, with the support of the Irrunytju Community Council, the women and Amanda started Irrunytju Arts, her first time working for Western Desert Artists. Brian and…

Lorna Fencer work in Paris

Lorna Fencer’s Yam Dreaming In Major Paris Exhibition

I’m very excited about a new Paris exhibition Poetry of the Yam. It’s featuring the colourful works of Lorna Fencer and the yam is the main story behind many of Lorna’s paintings. In this exhibition Lorna’s role as a custodian for a yam dreaming story within her Walrpiri culture is being set alongside some yam…

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Lorna Fencer and Yam Dreaming – An Interview with Didier Zanette

Didier Zanette is passionate about art from the Pacific. He spends six months of each year living in New Caledonia and travels throughout the Pacific collecting indigenous art for his three galleries. In this interview he talks with David Wroth about his passion for indigenous Australian art and the upcoming exhibition of Lorna Fencer he…

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The Art of Lorna Napurrula Fencer (c1925 – 2006)

First Meetings Since first meeting Lorna Napurrula Fencer at Lajamanu community in 1999, I had a feeling that Lorna was an artist with a big story to tell and a unique way of telling it. Japingka Gallery held its first exhibition of Lajamanu artists from the Warnayaka Arts cooperative in August 1999, including work by…

National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards NATSIAA 2014 Japingka 2

Stunning Entries in the 2014 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards

This years Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards were just fantastic. I haven’t been to the Awards in five years. I used to go every year, but I became disillusioned and decided not to go anymore. For me it had become more of a political competition. It seemed to matter who was…

Feature Bardon 2

New Article about the Influence of Geoffrey Bardon

Geoffrey Bardon was an Australian school teacher who had a significant part to play in the development of the Western Desert aboriginal art movement. We have recently published a new article that looks at his work: The Early Influence of Geoffrey Bardon on Aboriginal Art The Influence of Geoffrey Bardon

Geoffrey Bardon Papunya Tula Artists

The Early Influence of Geoffrey Bardon on Aboriginal Art

Australian school teacher Geoffrey Bardon spent 18 months in the early 1970s in the remote Aboriginal settlement of Papunya, 240 km west of Alice Springs. Geoffrey was instrumental in nurturing the early days of the Western Desert aboriginal art movement. From humble and very difficult beginnings, the movement supported by Bardon went on to achieve significant…

Emily Kngwarreye painting - Private Eye Exhibition

The Emily Kngwarreye Phenomenon

Article last updated: Feb, 2018 Emily Kame Kngwarreye (1919-1996) was a phenomenon in the world of modern Australian art. Starting to paint when she was nearly 70, it is estimated that in a stellar career that lasted 8 years, Emily may have painted as many as 5,000 paintings. In just the years from 1990 to…

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Collector Offers Rare Aboriginal Art From Australia’s Best

I’m excited to be announcing a collection of rare works by Aboriginal artists in an exhibition at Japingka Gallery from 18 July – 20 August called Private Eye. Click here to view the exhibition. The exhibition will include works from famous Australian Aboriginal artists including Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Naata Nungurrayi, Jackie Giles, Johnny Warangkula, Elizabeth…

Alma Nungarrayi Granites painting owned by Pixie

New Collector Stories – Pixie & The Alma Granites Painting That Started It All

A painting by Alma Nungarrayi Granites (also known as Alma Nungarai Granites) sparked Pixie’s interest in aboriginal art. Since her first purchase a year ago she’s added quite a few more aboriginal paintings to her collection. Pixie tells how she’s cleared away her other artworks and even some furniture to transform her home. Here she…

Kurtal by David Downs

The Rain Making – A Story about Kurtal, by David Downs

Kurtal by David Downs Jap 010521 When we’re doing an opening night for a show here at Japingka Gallery we usually tell a story. There’s not a lot of  pre-planning to it, we just pick a painting and talk to the people who are in the room about something that has a strong impact on…

Cross Roads, Argyle Hill by Rover Thomas

What Do You Need To Start Your Aboriginal Art Collection?

Cross Roads, Argyle Hill by Rover Thomas Jap 010522 It’s always a pleasure to hear stories from people about how they first fell in love with Aboriginal art. One thing that I hear in all the stories is the spark of passion that happens at the very beginning. They saw one particular painting and that…

Book Launch by Adrian Newstead

Book Launch by Adrian Newstead at Japingka Gallery

Sydney art dealer Adrian Newstead spoke of his 30 year involvement in Aboriginal art at the launch of his latest book “The Dealer is the Devil:  An Insiders History of the Aboriginal Art Trade”. The book launch at Japingka Gallery on Friday 4 April coincided with the exhibition opening for “Desert Song – Women Artists”.…

Jimmy Pike  Larripuka Sandhills  Jap 010347

Pike Family Artists Exhibition at Japingka Gallery

A long association between Japingka Gallery and the family of Jimmy Pike is celebrated with an exhibition of works by Jimmy and his brother Edgar Pike, and Francine Steele, Jimmy’s niece. The exhibition features paintings, silkscreen prints, etchings and silk scarves. Jimmy Pike’s first drawings and limited edition prints were made in Fremantle in the…

Indigenous Artwork Gallery

An Introductory Guide to Understanding Aboriginal Art

Australian Aboriginal art is a unique view into the culture and values of Aboriginal people. Its expansion to reach a much wider audience has allowed a greater awareness of the nature of traditional Aboriginal world. There are many aspects to gaining a greater understanding of Aboriginal art, including looking widely at good examples of art…


Exhibitions – Aboriginal Art at Japingka Gallery 1997-2010

Japingka Gallery opened its exhibition program in 1997 with Aboriginal prints from the Art Print Network. Previously the artworks shown were all Aboriginal paintings and prints from the gallery collection. Since that time Japingka Gallery has hosted over 175 exhibitions sourced from Aboriginal communities and regions across Australia. We provide a list of all exhibitions up until the end of 2010. From that point all recent exhibitions can be viewed under the Exhibitions tab on the home page.
Japingka Exhibitions

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Aboriginal Art and Kinship Groups

Aboriginal kinship (Skin groups) Aboriginal art is defined by the social and cultural setting where it was created, as is the case in all world art. As a representation of knowledge and of place, set down within an existing social structure, art has a function of expressing identity. Aboriginal artists express their identity and social…